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tv   Photographing the President  CSPAN  September 18, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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c-span.org is a public service of your cable or satellite >> david valdes first worked as a personal photographer to vice president george h w bush in 1983. when bush later became president, david bell does was named to head the white house -- z was named to head the white house photo department. this is part of an annual conference on the presidency and the press. it is hosted at franklin pierce university in new hampshire. it is about 50 minutes. >> we're going to look at the presidency through the lens of david valdez, who is one of only nine presidential photographers in u.s. history. when he was not much older than you, the draft sidelined his
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plans for college. while in the air force, he trained as a photographer, and he found himself taking photos of four-star generals by the age of 19. his honorable discharge, he took those skills to the university of maryland at college park, where he completed his degree in journalism while also working at the u.s. department of agriculture and housing and human development. he later left and worked at the how -- the u.s. chamber of commerce. in 1983, vice president george h.w. bush tapped him as his , and laterotographer appointed him director of the white house photo offices and personal photographer to the president. in his decade at the white house, he shot 65,000 rolls of in 75 countries and in all 50 states.
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after president bush left the joined walt valdez disney attractions, but returned in 2001 to government service in the u.s. department of housing and urban development. you have seen his photos here and can bee iconic found in the world's top magazines and newspapers -- life, newsweek, time, u.s. news & world report, forbes, people. a featured artist representing the united states at the world leaders g-8 summit in georgia. very proud that he serves not only as an advisory board member of the marlon center for communication, but he is a member of the board for the distal center of american history at the university of texas in austin. these join me in welcoming david valdez to the center for communication at frank appears university.
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pierce university. [applause] david valdez: good morning everyone. .t was a lot of fun yesterday i don't know if you saw the photos i took, but it was a lot of fun. i was using my nikon and transferring over them -- and transferring them over to my iphone. if you are on instagram, it is davidvaldezusa. time. take you back in i will show you some of the photos i took while i was at the white house. we can talk about them. feel free to ask me questions. what i'm going to show you are photos that i took of george herbert walker bush when he was president and vice president. we will see a couple of photos after he left the white house.
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i also worked for his grandson, george p bush, who ran for the texas land commissioner job in texas. that campaign was completely different than all the other campaigns i worked on, because george p bush's campaign was all about social media. here we are, vice president bush in houston, texas, the night he was elected president. actually, george p bush is the small boy to his left. it was kind of fun for me working with george p., photographing him campaigning, because i would have deja vu and say oh, i took that exec same photo of his grandfather 20 -- exact same photo of his grandfather 20 years ago. vice president bush came after ronald reagan, so this is president bush and barbara bush, who were just on the -- are just
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down the road saying goodbye to .ormer president reagan this is on the front steps of the capitol building, when the president is sworn in on one side of the capital as the former president leaves out on the other side. this is their inaugural parade. it was kind of fun for me years and years later, someone found a photo of me on the internet actually taking this photo. thesever know where all photos are going to wind up. it is fun for me after all these years to still see them pop up in history books and on some pbs shows. it is a real honor. the first day that george bush was president, he went into the oval office, and they had to adjust the chair.
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he was a lot taller than president reagan, so his aide was there adjusting the chair. move-inst one of those and starting a new administration. there has been a tradition where former presidents leave a note for the new president. this is literally the first moments, the first time president bush set down at the desk in the oval office, opened up the drawer, and there was a note left by former president ronald reagan. when george bush left, he did the same thing for president clinton. a little sidebar to all of that is across the street in the old theutive office building in vice president's ceremonial office, there is a desk where the former vice presidents all signed the inside of the desk.
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it was always kind of interesting to see all the names of the former vice presidents. while i worked at the white , i worked really closely with marlon fitzwater. we would release photos to the media. in those days, i was shooting film. if we were going to give an image to the media, we would have to make a print. i would go to marlon with a batch of prints and he would of proof which went out. i wound up getting stuff published in life and time and all over the world. areyoung children there barbara and jenna bush, who are the daughters of george w and laura bush, who a few years later became president and they were the first daughters. here they are the first granddaughters. now the bushes are right now on maineon in kennebunkport,
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. every year when i was working there, i did a family photo for them for their christmas card. this is one of the photos. you can kind of see on the left side of the image is his son nextand his wife, and the to him in a blue jacket is george w. bush and laura bush, and then behind is his other son marvin and his wife. and then to the presidents left is his daughter dora and her husband and one of their kids. on the far left is jeb bush and his wife. that jeb ran for president this go around, so it was kind of interesting to see all of that be a part of that.
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this is vice president bush at the vice president's house with a couple of his grandkids. my job was to document everything the president did in public and in private. we would do all these official events and travel around the , but i was also with the family and a lot of personal family things. that was fun, especially this moment here. vice president bush was on vacation in kennebunkport, maine , and life magazine wanted to send a photographer up to candidate vice president bush was going to be running for president. he said no, i'm on vacation. there was some back-and-forth, and finally it was decided that i would take the photos for life magazine, so i shot this photo. the photo editor loved the
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photo. she wound up running it to full pages in life magazine -- two full pages in life magazine. over the years, this has been in the best of life, classic life. recently, was in the best of life of the past 75 years. this is kind of the photo that identifies me. is i had tong thing talk to barbara bush about this, do i do.o -- and what she invites me to come over in the morning and just watch what happens. about 6:30 the morning, i walk up to the house and peak in the door. -- peek in the door. all of a sudden, the kids start coming in and i just stood up and took a couple of steps -- snaps.
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there is actually one photo that is probably more historic now. left side back this way. in the background is george w. bush. little did i know back then that george w would also become president. president loves his boat. that is jeb and his daughter in the background. they used to go boating all the time. we still have a lot of fun. display atboat is on the presidential library in college station, texas at texas a&m university. it is a great place to go and visit. all the presidential libraries are great places to go. there is one just down the road, president kennedy's down in boston. if you get a chance, you should go visit the presidential library. funny story, we were out one , and the prime
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minister of canada was coming over to visit and they had a helicopter landing zone. we were waiting for the prime minister, and we were out on the boat. just as we got the call that the prime minister was getting ready to land, i caught a fish. so i am out there really get a fish with the president saying that we have to go. andinally gets the fish take off and we had to run over to meet the helicopter. as we get there, the prime minister is already off the helicopter, so the president turns around and he says "it's is a greatult," and photo of me holding up my hands, into the prime minister that i had just caught this the fish. this is the older air force one
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that we used, but you can see some of the grandchildren and his dog would come with a sometimes. this is at their house in kennebunkport. the guy on the left, that is george w. bush, who later became president the guy in the red pants is george p bush, who is his grandson, and now the texas land commissioner. just the classic wave photos. here is in the people's republic of china. that was an interesting trip to go on. the bio of george time hewalker bush, one was the liaison to the people's republic of china, and lived there. ,hen he went back as president some of the embassy staff were
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still there, and he had a little private dinner with the staff. so it was kind of fun to see that. we literally traveled around the world. one of the things that we did was travel to communist poland. vice president bush met with sa,pyard worker lech wale who is the head of the solidarity movement to shut down communism. there was a lot of behind the scenes maneuvering to get to the point where we could actually go withnd show solidarity lech walesa and the solidarity movement. said that one day, george bush will be president and poland will be free. well, communism fell, poland was free, george bush was elected
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president, and shipyard worker lech walesa was elected president over free poland. this is president gorbachev pointing his finger, making a .oint at camp david the two guys in my colored shirts are their interpreters. ist is interested -- what interesting is that a year or two ago, i photographed former president gorbachev at the lbj presidential library, and the guy on the left was his interpreter when he was president, and to this day, it was still the same interpreter. it was kind of fun to see them catch up. we also met with president gorbachev win a russian ship off .he coast of malta at one time
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we were staying on a u.s. navy battleship, and the plan was to go back and forth and have some meetings on the russian ship and some meetings on our ship. , and was a big storm gorbachev did not want to come, so we all had to go get on this little boat and go over to the russian ship. the good thing about it is we brought some lobster from maine to have dinner with president gorbachev. he didn't come over, so you can guess who got to have the lobster dinner that night. house on to the white the tour, you walk through these rooms. this is in the red room. i am in the blue room looking across into the red room. that is president bush and president gorbachev.
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president bush loved to play horseshoes. here he is playing horseshoes on the south lawn of the white house with the prime minister of .apan queen elizabeth showed up, and she brought her sterling silver horseshoes. i don't think she ever actually threw one. they are probably right now on display at the george bush presidential library. this is borussia else and ltsinng -- boris ye playing. we were meeting with president gorbachev at camp david, and they went for a walk, and i followed them around. they got to a horseshoe pit, and they were kind of discussing what is this. i showed president gorbachev how to throw the horseshoe. he threw the first shoe and got a ringer.
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he decided to keep the horseshoe as a souvenir. i went and told the president guy had justie stolen his horseshoe. it turned out that evening the president had one of the horseshoes mounted on a plaque and presented it to president gorbachev. always talked on the phone, and was always making phone calls. that was one of the ways he interacted with a lot of people. if you recall, he was our ambassador to the united nations , a congressman, an oilman, worked in china. he knew a lot of people. on the phone with the king of saudi arabia. he is at home in kennebunkport. after that conversation, a short while later, we fly to riyadh, saudi arabia, and meet with the
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king. .e also traveled to the vatican this was kind of interesting. the first time we go to the vatican, everywhere the president went, i would go, it and i always knew i would be with him. i get to the vatican and i go running in the door. she is living by the armed saying i have to go this way. it is really hard when you're in the vatican to argue with a none -- nun. she did back to all these hallways and took me to a place, says i should stand right here. minutes go by, and she comes back and gets me and asks if i'm ready. she opens the door, and here's what i see as i take these photos. , i wasy on the left
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trying to get a picture of the president, and marlon fitzwater i noticed kept edging in an edge again and got in the photo. i think it is one of his favorite photos. this is at a white house press conference briefing room. you can see leslie stahl from cbs sitting down. the woman sitting in a chair at the front is one of the white house stenographers who recorded everything that the president said in public. it is kind of interesting that the government printing office publishes these massive volumes of books that is printed
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everything the president says. if you're ever doing a study about presidents, those books are a valuable resource. literally everything they say is recorded and printed. then of course you can see some of the cutaway tv cameras. also, this is upstairs in the private residence of the white house. a lot of people don't get to go up there. the senior staff goes, i got to go. this photo is colin powell, who was chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, briefing the president and his senior staff. about the gulfg war. if you recall, iraq invaded kuwait, and president bush pulled together a world coalition to remove iraq from
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kuwait. this is at camp david. cap david was not named after me. i do have a cap that says cap david that i wear all the time. is colin powell, jim baker .n the red shirt, dick cheney in the blue there in the center is vice president quayle. the national security visor, the president, and on the right is the white house chief of staff. and then hours before the gulf wenttarted, president bush out on the south lawn of the white house and just walked around. , because he for him
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had been a pilot in world war ii and had been shot down, lost to members of his crew. now as commander-in-chief, he was sending men and women into combat, and it troubled him that .e knew some people may be lost that weighed heavily on him. this is in the back study just off the oval office. you can see on the little tv that is on, i believe. a map of iraq, and he is looking at his watch, and it is just a few minutes before the war starts. then as soon as that happens, the president starts calling world leaders and congressional that theinforming them
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war has started. a little sidebar, you can see he still had a typewriter at that point. he wrote many notes. i think probably some of these guys here receive them. i know i have a whole stack of them that i received over the years. the president was a man of faith. he went to a church service that day, went to pray. he was with his wife barbara bush and dan quayle and marilyn quayle. on the left is his daughter doro. long for theke world coalition to get a rock out of kuwait -- iraq out of kuwait. these are some of the final moments of that, and colin powell is on the phone with norman schwarzkopf, with who is
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the general that ran the gulf war. they welcome some of the troops home a little while later. i was fortunate enough as a photographer to get some of my photos published. this photo made the cover of newsweek magazine in asia and in the united states. thatunny thing was newsweek had this horrible headline up there that no one liked, and i'm sure marlon what around grabbing every copy of newsweek so the president would see it. to doption had something with fighting the wind factor -- imp factor. i managed to get an asian version, and it says heroic man in that language. and of course this is president
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bush in his house at kennebunkport, maine. that is the cover of my book " bush: aerbert walker photographic profile." after the bush: a photographic war, there was the reelection. we went into the campaign, and here we are in the massive crowds. everybody was getting interviewed. this is larry king of cnn interviewing their dog. this is upstairs in the residence of the white house. i used to decorate the white house with photos. i enlarged one of those, and one day it was gone. it turned out that larry king had it. the president supported the
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troops. here he is in somalia afterwards. he visited with some of the children. the last day he was president, i was waiting for him to come to the oval office. we didn't quite knows going to happen that day. i went up to his bedroom and walked in, and he was just in .ed reading that little box there, that brown box by the telephone, is a call button. he hit that button and a steward would come in and bring cam coffee or breakfast or whatever he wanted. the next morning when he woke up, he was in houston, texas. overhe woke up, he reached and was looking for the box. there was no box and barbara bush says you have to make euro coffee from now on. that was the last time we saw that. president-elect clinton showed up.
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elect alpresident gore's behind him. this is a few hours before the president is sworn in. typically, the present elect comes over to the white house and they have a coffee and then get into the motorcade and go up . they have a swearing-in ceremony . this is bill clinton being sworn , and then this is president clinton congratulating former president .eorge bush at that point, i was unemployed. helicopter and a went back to andrews air force base and went home to houston, texas. began, and heife began skydiving. this is one of the trips over in college station where he went
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skydiving. people always ask if i jumped with him. no, i was on the ground, and i was just lucky that he came down right in front of me, so i was able to get this. then a few years later, his son , ande w became president here is george w at his bush.ral, with laura there is a picture of the presidential cufflinks. and then george w out on one of his trips. in the rose garden -- the roosevelt room. mewas always funny for knowing george w back before his days that he was even governor. we would go out to midland, texas, to his house. i have known him for many years. when we did an event like this at the white house, he would always kind of look at me and
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give me a little wink. ush.'s old george p. b bald from film now to digital. p. bush. film, nownvolved from digital. we would take photos for instagram, twitter, facebook, and post them live well he was speaking. is his presse back secretary, jr hernandez.
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just one of the shots of a tv camera. that is the night that he was elected. here he has with his father, jeb bush. that is just sitting down and on the back. we drove 15,000 miles in the state of texas. here they are on the bus during their social media stop. they are tweeting out information, sending out some of my photos. we have wi-fi on the bus. it was a great system. , and his father congratulating him, and being sworn in as texas land
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commissioner in the state capitol building in austin, texas. his parents in the background. that is his wife in the green. recently, i have been doing some iphone photography classes. andle asked me about tips how do you do it, and we need more information. in the last week or so, i set up davidvaldez, photography.com. i have been starting to blog about this. you can see some of my portfolio here. i am also on instagram and twitter. i know i tweeted yesterday about this. a couple of you retweeting my tweet. that is a lot of fun. the one thing i can tell you
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about social media, especially to young folks is do not ever post anything of parties, drinking, carrying on, being will, because social media live with you through your career. you need to be aware of that. but just don't, do it. i also post photos on flickr. i have sold stuff to national geographic travel magazine, the united nations. i am all about the social media these days. even though i have 65,000 rolls of film in the bush presidential i am now with my iphone all about social media stuff.
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has questions, now is the time. we have one coming up right here. you think the role of presidential photographers changed since digital photography? david: dramatically. i was literally the first white house photographer to scan film and transmit it electronically. today, president obama's photographer, pete souza, i believe, is 100% digital. the white house post a lot of photos on the white house flickr page. i think people in the media
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don't necessarily like it, but a lot of the users out there love it because you get to see a lot behind-the-scenes. they are putting out thousands .ore images week isce or twice a what we would do. now, with the digital, it is a did -- it is a daily occurrence. some of the press photographers are using the iphone's as the primary camera on some of the campaign trips because it is smaller and easier to move around, but they can also post it instantly. it is a dramatic change. 'sen i worked on george p bush campaign, it was dramatically different.
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i would shoot film and it would be 3, 4, 5 days before i saw anything. now, it is instantaneous. i actually like it now better. my question is, when you were traveling with the bushes, were you shooting every single second of the day or how did you choose what to shoot and what not to shoot? david: there were three schedules. a monthly schedule, a daily schedule -- a monthly schedule, a weekly schedule, and a daily schedule. the block schedule would be, next week will be a two day trip. the weekly scheduled out a little tighter and the daily schedule was minute by minute. for me, every line that was on
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there, i would go photograph. film.line was a roll of i would shoot that roll of film, put it in a bag, write a caption on it. the white house communications and they would process the film and give me back the contact sheet. would putlibrary and that into a filing system. laterame system, 27 years -- usedstill be used to at the library. something unofficial, i would still go with him. him at take a photo of the restaurant or on the golf
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course, but most of the time you would give them space. you are there so much. give them a chance to get a breather. sometimes it felt like you were always there. you would go to camp david and do everything. kennedy center or whatever. and.document -- it. >> you said -- do you think with the convenience of digital, do you think anybody really have any reason to shoot film anymore? do you know of any press photographers or anyone still willing to shoot film?
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david: there are a couple of guys who i know. david burnett does some fillmore. he is a new sky. his stuff is just phenomenal. anymore.e you see is more of a our side than on the news side. when we were listening yesterday to the editor of boston , he was talking about how social media is taking over and leading the way. to be out there so quickly that it is dramatically changing. i do it to stay relevant. . am an old guy i still try to keep up with it.
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>> considering you are the only latin american to ever be a presidential photographer, do you think there any effects that had for your time in the white house? david: i never really gave it much thought. it never occurred to me that i was hispanic until i was in the military. i was laying in my bunk one we used torning and have to have this cleanup detail. aside -- assigned . a sergeant comes by and is looking for amit lopez. an lopez.irm valdez.i am airman he said, close enough.
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once in a while they would talk about illegal immigration and i would think, my grandparents were actually in this country 50 years before they became citizens and it was actually my military andreer he was getting a top-secret clearance, and as they were doing his background check, they discover that his father wasn't a citizen. his father got a citizenship. i never really gave it much thought. -- i have lived in texas and kind of grown up in a texas environment. foodl loved our mexican and we were at the house one
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. and jeb, andge w one of the women who worked for the bushes was hispanic, and she had made this big pot of tamales. i.was george w., jeb, and we started taking the tamales out of this big pot and eating them over the stove. barbara bush comes in and says, stop, i don't feed animals in my house. i thought, i had better get out of here. it was never really a thing for me. >> i was wondering if you could speak more about your travels and if there was a favorite place you ever traveled to. david: we went all over the place. i remember the first time going to russia, i was nervous.
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i was not quite sure and actually, the very first time we went was for a funeral. to meet the new russian and we were to go in protocol order. u, is kind oftes, at the bottom of the protocol list. it was 10:00 or 11:00 when it was our turn. office,, we get to the i get it and i take the photos, and they escort me out the other door. and out, i am sitting there i am like, ok, it is late at night, i have all my cameras, i am in the kremlin, and i saw the vice president way down the
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hallway. i went running and i caught up with him. the very next year, we go back to another funeral. i'm thinking, there is no way i'm going to go out that door. in, it was a secret service agent, a doctor, a military aid, and myself. , thereme, i am thinking is no way will go out that door, so i go back out when i am done and keep my body language going this way. staff and they had escorted the guys who went in all the way to the other side, so i walk out that door, there is nobody there. i go back to the limo. i'm walking out and i got lost. i am in the kremlin at night with my camera's and i am lost.
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out and ifind my way get to the door and there are some kgb agents. they are shocked to see me and i'm concerned to see them. i open the door and go out. i get in the car, close the door , now i am back in the united states and i am safe. by, theor so goes secret service come over and say, the kgb is looking for you. i say, i am on my way to siberia. top ofck in and of the the stairway is the doctor and the military aide and a secret service agent. at the time the stairway is a painting of lenin. they had talked to the guys into letting me take a picture of them in front of this painting.
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i said, are you kidding me? i just had a heart attack. quickly would travel around and people would say, what is your favorite country, i would always say the usa. >> hello there. that youit was said got your start photography when you got drafted. i was wondering if you use that as a way to distract yourself from what was going on around you at that time. it was kind of a shock to the system. i was like your guys age and i got this draft notice. this was in the 60's. there was a draft in the united states. i got called in. june.uated high school in and i didn't want to
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go in the army so i joined the air force. the air force said, you're going to be a photographer. i turned to the guy next to me and said, what is that? i took to it and many years president'sthe photographer and we are in san antonio, and my parents invited the white house staff over to the house for a barbecue. says, ihere in my mom have to show you something david did as a little boy. guy.this hotshot dones a photo album i had and i had written on the cover, pictures taken by david valadez in crayon. in here, thatere photography gene was there and
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it worked well for me. add 2 and 2, but i seem to be able to take a decent picture. >> we have time for one more question. that you have a particular moment when you realized you wanted to be a photojournalist? david: my father used to always say, when the you going to get a real job? he never thought that being a photographer was a real job. hobby.ght it was a until i went to work at the white house. i went to the university of maryland and got a degree in journalism. started down that been in the i had
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military, i was 21 when i got out. need to go finish my college and get a degree in something i can get a job at. 2looked around, i can't add and 2, but i figure i can be a an fbilogist, maybe be or secret service agent. one day, i am on campus in these two guys say, i just got my degree in criminology and i got a job. guard ating to be a the federal penitentiary. i said, that is not for me. i said, i have had six or seven years of photography experience at that time. andoked at that curriculum
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i thought i could switch over to journalism, so i did that. i kind of chasing the dog of .eing a photojournalist with "nation's business" magazine. another time, i was a government photographer. over the country trying to get a job at a newspaper and that never happened, but what is kind of fun now is that i travel around doing a lot of public speaking. editors will come in and i will say, i remember when i was a lot younger, i applied to you for a job and you wouldn't hire me. now you are doing a story on me. thank you very much. i really appreciate it. [applause]
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>> david, it is always a pleasure to have you here and this is a wonderful view of the presidency through your lens. [applause] >> now we have a short break and we will set up for the next segment of the morning. refreshments, but you have to move quickly in the foyer. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> you are watching american history tv, 48 hours of programming on american history, every weekend on c-span3. follow us on twitter for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news. >> next weekend here on american history tv, we will be live at 8:00 a.m. eastern with the opening ceremony of the national museum of african american history and culture. as final preparations continue on the national mall, we talk with african-american members of congress about the smithsonian's newest museum. >> can you tell us what you think the significance of the new african american museum of the mall is to the country? >> is significant. all i can think about in my own mind this growing up myself and
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no one knowing the contributions the african-americans have made in our society. it wasn't taught in schools but i learned primarily from my parents. with this new museum, things i will be opened up to all of america, even internationally, so people can come and understand and see that this country would not be what it is today if it wasn't for the contributions of african americans in almost every walk and facet of life. it is tremendously significant to show the contributions, not just for african-americans, but for all of america, to know that this is indeed our country and we contributed to it in as great a fashion as anybody else, if not even more. fadingyou see the museum into the larger storyline, the passage of the civil rights act 50 years ago? does the museum itself had a
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role in this larger history? rep. meeks: i can't stop and continue to think of the 44th president of the united states. when he was first sworn in or the primary, won it was on the eve of the march on washington. when he was sworn in, it was right after the birthday of dr. martin luther king. now, before he leaves office, after serving eight years as president of the united states, this magnificent, gorgeous museum is opening. it means that children yet unborn, when they look at the grand opening of this museum, they will also see the picture of the first african-american president. i think of it not only in the context of right now, but 50,
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100, 150 years from now, the andness of it will be shared with populations yet in a significant place on the national mall. >> is there a role for the museum in the national conversation we're having now about race? rep. meeks: more important than ever. some folks are asking, are we better off today than we were before? the answer to that is absolutely yes and the museum is a testament to that. those who may have been ignorant to the facts of what african-americans have stood for or have done will now become educated as a result of this museum. think about the smithsonian and what they do, it educates people. this is part of the educational process that is good for all of america, no matter what state
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you come from, whether the east, west, north, south. rural or urban america. this is an educational piece so that we can all have a greater understanding. yesterday, i was in a committee some of my colleagues don't understand or don't know the african-american experience. now they will have a chance to come and see this for themselves, hopefully bring their children, and they can walk away with a better understanding that will hopefully further the dialogue so that we can become a more perfect union. >> what is the museum need you personally -- what does the museum mean to you personally? rep. meeks: it really emotional to me. i am old enough to remember traveling from new york to south carolina, where my parents live, and getting off a train and
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seeing colored and white signs. seeing my father being talked down to as if he wasn't a man. and seeing friends understanding that i was told not to go to certain areas and i couldn't go simply because of the color of my skin. in not really understanding why that was. york,recall, in new others trying to tell me to lower my expectations because a negro, as they would say in that time, could only get certain types of jobs. this museum come on its opening, will be so moving to me. i am equating it to when i went ghana,t donna -- visit
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and i went to see the slave castles. the people crossing this ocean, they could not have dreamt of this museum. just the thought of that is so moving to me. sweat,as so much blood, tears that was given and yet, as a people, we believe in this country more than others did. , we on this federal mall are going to have a testament of all that we have been through. >> thank you very much. >> the smithsonian's national museum of african american history and culture opens it stores the public for the first time next saturday, september 24 .
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american history tv will be live from the national mall starting , with0 a.m. eastern sights and sounds leading up to the 10:00 a.m. ceremony. then, will be live for the dedication which includes remarks from president obama and the founding museum director. >> is that time of year to announce our 2017 student cam documentary competition. help us spread the word to middle school and high school students and their teachers. this year's theme, your message to washington dc. what is the most urgent issue for the new president and congress to address in 2016 -- in 2017? more than $100,000 awarded in cash prizes. students can work alone or in a group of up to three to create a five to seven minute documentary , includes some c-span programming, and also include
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other opinions. the prizes will be shared between 150 students and 53 teachers, and the grand prize of $5,000 will go to the student or team with the best overall entry. help spread the word to student filmmakers. for information, go to our website. >> next on american history tv's "american artifacts," we visit to see artifacts that tell the story of african americans in congress in the 20th century. >> i am sarah elliott, the curator at the house of representatives. >> i am the historian of the house of representatives. >> we want to talk about the history of african american representation in the 20th century. we have a lot of artifacts from the house collection that has to do with that and a lot of history to cover.

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